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here, a large book concerning the growth of popery and arbitrary
government. There have been great rewards offered in private, and
considerable in the Gazette, to any one who could inform of the
author or printer, but not yet discovered. Three or four printed
books since have described, as near as it was proper to go, the man
being a Member of Parliament, Mr. Marvell, to have been the author;
but if he had, surely he should not have escaped being questioned in
Parliament or some other place. My good wishes attend you."

The last letter Andrew Marvell wrote to his constituents is dated July
6, 1678. The member for Hull died in August 1678. The Parliament in
which he had sat continuously for eighteen years was at last dissolved
on the 30th of December in the year of his death.


FOOTNOTES:

[181:1] Grosart, vol. iv. p. 248.

[183:1] Ranke's _History of England_, vol. iii. p. 471.

[185:1] Ranke, vol. iii. p. 520.

[187:1] Grosart, vol. iv. (_Growth of Popery_), p. 275.

[187:2] _Ibid._, p. 279.

[189:1] See note to Dr. Airy's edition of Burnet's _History_, vol. ii.
p. 73.

[199:1] Marvell's commendatory verses on "Mr. Milton's Paradise Lost"
(so entitled in the volume of 1681) were first printed in the Second
Edition (1674) of Milton's great poem. Marvell did not agree with Dryden
in thinking that _Paradise Lost_ would be improved by rhyme, and says so
in these verses.

[202:1] Printed in Captain Thompson's edition, vol. i. p. 432.

[204:1] Grosart, vol. iv. p. 304.

[205:1] Grosart, vol. iv. p. 308.

[206:1] Grosart, vol. iv. p. 322.

[209:1] Grosart, vol. iv. p. 327.

[210:1] This story is first told in a balder form by Cooke in his
edition of 1726. It may be read as Cooke tells it in the _Dictionary of
National Biography_, xxxvi., p. 329. There was probably some foundation
for it.




CHAPTER VII

FINAL SATIRES AND DEATH


Marvell was no orator or debater, and though a member of Parliament for
nearly eighteen years, but rarely opened his mouth in the House of
Commons. His old enemy, Samuel Parker, whilst venting his posthumous
spite upon the author of the _Rehearsal Transprosed_, would have us
believe "that our Poet could not speak without a sound basting:
whereupon having frequently undergone this discipline, he learnt at
length to hold his tongue." There is no good reason for believing the
Bishop of Oxford, but it is the fact that, however taught, Marvell had
learnt to hold his tongue. His longest reported speech will be found in
the _Parliamentary History_, vol. iv. p. 855.[211:1] When we remember
how frequently in those days Marvell's pet subjects were under fierce
discussion, we must recognise how fixed was his habit of
self-repression.

On one occasion only are we enabled to catch a glimpse of Marvell
"before the Speaker." It was in March 1677, and is thus reported in the
_Parliamentary History_, though no mention of the incident is made in
the Journals of the House: -

"_Debate on Mr. Andrew Marvell's striking Sir Philip Harcourt, March
29._ - Mr. Marvell, coming up the house to his place, stumbling at Sir
Philip Harcourt's foot, in recovering himself, seemed to give Sir
Philip a box on the ear. The Speaker acquainting the house 'That he
saw a box on the ear given, and it was his duty to inform the house
of it,' this debate ensued.

"Mr. _Marvell_. What passed was through great acquaintance and
familiarity betwixt us. He neither gave him an affront, nor intended
him any. But the Speaker cast a severe reflection upon him yesterday,
when he was out of the house, and he hopes that, as the Speaker keeps
us in order, he will keep himself in order for the future.

"Sir _John Ernly_. What the Speaker said yesterday was in Marvell's
vindication. If these two gentlemen are friends already, he would not
make them friends, and would let the matter go no further.

"Sir _Job. Charlton_ is sorry a thing of this nature has happened,
and no more sense of it. You in the Chair, and a stroke struck!
Marvell deserves for his reflection on you, Mr. Speaker, to be called
in question. You cannot do right to the house unless you question it;
and moves to have Marvell sent to the Tower.

"The _Speaker_. I saw a blow on one side, and a stroke on the other.

"Sir _Philip Harcourt_. Marvell had some kind of a stumble, and mine
was only a thrust; and the thing was accidental.

"Sir _H. Goodrick_. The persons have declared the thing to be
accidental, but if done in jest, not fit to be done here. He believes
it an accident, and hopes the house thinks so too.

"Mr. Sec. _Williamson_. This does appear, that the action for that
time was in some heat. He cannot excuse Marvell who made a very
severe reflection on the Speaker, and since it is so enquired,
whether you have done your duty, he would have Marvell withdraw, that
you may consider of it.

"Col. _Sandys_. Marvell has given you trouble, and instead of
excusing himself, reflects upon the Speaker: a strange confidence, if
not an impudence!

"Mr. _Marvell_. Has so great a respect to the privilege, order, and
decency, of the house, that he is content to be a sacrifice for it.
As to the casualty that happened, he saw a seat empty, and going to
sit in it, his friend put him by, in a jocular manner, and what he
did was of the same nature. So much familiarity has ever been between
them, that there was no heat in the thing. He is sorry he gave an
offence to the house. He seldom speaks to the house, and if he commit
an error, in the manner of his speech, being not so well tuned, he
hopes it is not an offence. Whether out or in the house, he has a
respect to the Speaker. But he has been informed that the Speaker
resumed something he had said, with reflection. He did not think fit
to complain of Mr. Seymour to Mr. Speaker. He believes that is not
reflective. He desires to comport himself with all respect to the
house. This passage with Harcourt was a perfect casualty, and if you
think fit, he will withdraw, and sacrifice himself to the censure of
the house.

"Sir _Henry Capel_. The blow given Harcourt was with his hat; the
Speaker cast his eye upon both of them, and both respected him. He
would not aggravate the thing. Marvell submits, and he would have you
leave the thing as it is.

"_Sir Robert Holmes_ saw the whole action. Marvell flung about three
or four times with his hat, and then gave Harcourt a box on the ear.

"Sir _Henry Capel_ desires, now that his honour is concerned, that
Holmes may explain, whether he saw not Marvell with his hat only give
Harcourt the stroke 'at that time.' Possibly 'at another time' it
might be.

"The _Speaker_. Both Holmes and Capel are in the right. But Marvell
struck Harcourt so home, that his fist, as well as his hat, hit him.

"Sir _R. Howard_ hopes the house will not have Harcourt say he
received a blow, when he has not. He thinks what has been said by
them both sufficient.

"Mr. _Garraway_ hopes, that by the debate we shall not make the thing
greater than it is. Would have them both reprimanded for it.

"Mr. Sec. _Williamson_ submits the honour of the house to the house.
Would have them made friends, and give that necessary assurance to
the house, and he, for his part, remains satisfied.

"Sir _Tho. Meres_. By our long sitting together, we lose, by our
familiarity and acquaintance, the decencies of the house. He has seen
500 in the house, and people very orderly; not so much as to read a
letter, or set up a foot. One could scarce know anybody in the house,
but him that spoke. He would have the Speaker declare that order
ought to be kept; but as to that gentleman (Marvell) to rest
satisfied."

The general impression left upon the mind is that of a friendly-familiar
but choleric gentleman, full of likes and dislikes, readier with his
tongue in the lobby than with "set" speeches in the Chamber. A solitary
politician with a biting pen. Satirists must not complain if they have
enemies.

Marvell's vein of satire was never worked out, and the political poems
of his last decade are fuller than ever of a savage humour. How he kept
his ears is a repeated wonder. He is said to have been on terms of
intimate friendship with Prince Rupert, and it is a steady tradition
that the king was one of his amused readers. It is hard to believe that
even Charles the Second could have seen any humour, good or bad, in such
a couplet: -

"The poor Priapus King, led by the nose,
Looks as a thing set up to scare the crows."

Nor can the following verses have been read with much pleasure, either
at Whitehall or in a punt whilst fishing at Windsor. Their occasion was
the setting up in the stocks-market in the City of London of a statue of
the king by Sir Robert Viner, a city knight, to whom Charles was very
heavily in debt. Sir Robert, having a frugal mind, had acquired a statue
of John Sobieski trampling on the Turk, which, judiciously altered, was
made to pass muster so as to represent the Pensioner of Louis the
Fourteenth and the Vendor of Dunkirk trampling on Oliver Cromwell.

"As cities that to the fierce conqueror yield
Do at their own charges their citadels build;
So Sir Robert advanced the King's statue in token
Of bankers defeated, and Lombard Street broken.

Some thought it a knightly and generous deed,
Obliging the city with a King and a steed;
When with honour he might from his word have gone back;
He that vows in a calm is absolved by a wrack.

But now it appears, from the first to the last,
To be a revenge and a malice forecast;
Upon the King's birthday to set up a thing
That shows him a monkey much more than a King.

When each one that passes finds fault with the horse,
Yet all do affirm that the King is much worse;
And some by the likeness Sir Robert suspect
That he did for the King his own statue erect.

Thus to see him disfigured - the herb-women chid,
Who up on their panniers more gracefully rid;
And so loose in his seat - that all persons agree,
E'en Sir William Peak[215:1] sits much firmer than he.

But Sir Robert affirms that we do him much wrong;
'Tis the 'graver at work, to reform him, so long;
But, alas! he will never arrive at his end,
For it is such a King as no chisel can mend.

But with all his errors restore us our King,
If ever you hope in December for spring;
For though all the world cannot show such another,
Yet we'd rather have him than his bigoted brother."

Of a more exalted vein of satire the following extract may serve as an
example: -

BRITANNIA AND RALEIGH

"_Brit._ Ah! Raleigh, when thou didst thy breath resign
To trembling James, would I had quitted mine.
Cubs didst thou call them? Hadst thou seen this brood
Of earls, and dukes, and princes of the blood,
No more of Scottish race thou would'st complain,
Those would be blessings in this spurious reign.
Awake, arise from thy long blessed repose,
Once more with me partake of mortal woes!

_Ral._ What mighty power has forced me from my rest?
Oh! mighty queen, why so untimely dressed?

_Brit._ Favoured by night, concealed in this disguise,
Whilst the lewd court in drunken slumber lies,
I stole away, and never will return,
Till England knows who did her city burn;
Till cavaliers shall favourites be deemed,
And loyal sufferers by the court esteemed;
Till Leigh and Galloway shall bribes reject;
Thus Osborne's golden cheat I shall detect:
Till atheist Lauderdale shall leave this land,
And Commons' votes shall cut-nose guards disband:
Till Kate a happy mother shall become,
Till Charles loves parliaments, and James hates Rome.

_Ral._ What fatal crimes make you for ever fly
Your once loved court, and martyr's progeny?

_Brit._ A colony of French possess the Court,
Pimps, priests, buffoons, i' the privy-chamber sport.
Such slimy monsters ne'er approached the throne
Since Pharaoh's reign, nor so defiled a crown.
I' the sacred ear tyrannic arts they croak,
Pervert his mind, his good intentions choke;
Tell him of golden Indies, fairy lands,
Leviathan, and absolute commands.
Thus, fairy-like, the King they steal away,
And in his room a Lewis changeling lay.
How oft have I him to himself restored.
In's left the scale, in 's right hand placed the sword?
Taught him their use, what dangers would ensue
To those that tried to separate these two?
The bloody Scottish chronicle turned o'er,
Showed him how many kings, in purple gore,
Were hurled to hell, by learning tyrant lore?
The other day famed Spenser I did bring,
In lofty notes Tudor's blest reign to sing;
How Spain's proud powers her virgin arms controlled,
And golden days in peaceful order rolled;
How like ripe fruit she dropped from off her throne,
Full of grey hairs, good deeds, and great renown.
...

_Ral._ Once more, great queen, thy darling strive to save,
Snatch him again from scandal and the grave;
Present to 's thoughts his long-scorned parliament,
The basis of his throne and government.
In his deaf ears sound his dead father's name:
Perhaps that spell may 's erring soul reclaim:
Who knows what good effects from thence may spring?
'Tis godlike good to save a falling king.

_Brit._ Raleigh, no more, for long in vain I've tried
The Stuart from the tyrant to divide;
As easily learned virtuosos may
With the dog's blood his gentle kind convey
Into the wolf, and make his guardian turn
To the bleating flock, by him so lately torn:
If this imperial juice once taint his blood,
'Tis by no potent antidote withstood.
Tyrants, like lep'rous kings, for public weal
Should be immured, lest the contagion steal
Over the whole. The elect of the Jessean line
To this firm law their sceptre did resign;
And shall this base tyrannic brood invade
Eternal laws, by God for mankind made?

To the serene Venetian state I'll go,
From her sage mouth famed principles to know;
With her the prudence of the ancients read,
To teach my people in their steps to tread;
By their great pattern such a state I'll frame,
Shall eternize a glorious lasting name.
Till then, my Raleigh, teach our noble youth
To love sobriety, and holy truth;
Watch and preside over their tender age,
Lest court corruption should their souls engage;
Teach them how arts, and arms, in thy young days,
Employed our youth - not taverns, stews, and plays;
Tell them the generous scorn their race does owe
To flattery, pimping, and a gaudy show;
Teach them to scorn the Carwells, Portsmouths, Nells,
The Clevelands, Osbornes, Berties, Lauderdales:
Poppaea, Tigelline, and Arteria's name,
All yield to these in lewdness, lust, and fame.
Make them admire the Talbots, Sydneys, Veres,
Drake, Cavendish, Blake, men void of slavish fears,
True sons of glory, pillars of the state,
On whose famed deeds all tongues and writers wait.
When with fierce ardour their bright souls do burn,
Back to my dearest country I'll return."

The dialogue between the two horses, which bore upon their respective
backs the stone effigies of Charles the First at Charing Cross and
Charles the Second at Wool-Church, is, in its own rough way, masterly
satire for the popular ear.

"If the Roman Church, good Christians, oblige ye
To believe man and beast have spoken in effigy,
Why should we not credit the public discourses,
In a dialogue between two inanimate horses?
The horses I mean of Wool-Church and Charing,
Who told many truths worth any man's hearing,
Since Viner and Osborn did buy and provide 'em
For the two mighty monarchs who now do bestride 'em.
The stately brass stallion, and the white marble steed,
The night came together, by all 'tis agreed;
When both kings were weary of sitting all day,
They stole off, incognito, each his own way;
And then the two jades, after mutual salutes,
Not only discoursed, but fell to disputes."

The dialogue is too long to be quoted. Charles the Second's steed
boldly declares: -

"De Witt and Cromwell had each a brave soul,
I freely declare it, I am for old Noll;
Though his government did a tyrant resemble,
He made England great, and his enemies tremble."

Mr. Hollis, when he sent the picture of Cromwell by Cooper to Sidney
Sussex College, is said to have written beneath it the lines just
quoted.

The satire ends thus: -

"_Charing Cross._ But canst them devise when things will be mended?

_Wool-Church._ When the reign of the line of the Stuarts is ended.

_Charing Cross._ Then England, rejoice, thy redemption draws nigh;
Thy oppression together with kingship shall die.

_Chorus._ A Commonwealth, a Commonwealth we proclaim to the nation,
For the gods have repented the King's restoration."

These probably are the lines which spread the popular, but mistaken,
belief that Marvell was a Republican.

Andrew Marvell died in his lodgings in London on the 16th of August
1678. Colonel Grosvenor, writing to George Treby, M.P. (afterwards Chief
of the Common Pleas), on the 17th of August, reports "Andrew Marvell
died yesterday of apoplexy." Parliament was not sitting at the time.
What was said of the elder Andrew may also be said of the younger: he
was happy in the moment of his death. The one just escaped the Civil
War, the other the Popish Plot.

Marvell was thought to have been poisoned. Such a suspicion in those bad
times was not far-fetched. His satires, rough but moving, had been
widely read, and his fears for the Constitution, his dread of

"The grim Monster, Arbitrary Power,
The ugliest Giant ever trod the earth,"

infested many breasts, and bred terror.

"Marvell, the Island's watchful sentinel,
Stood in the gap and bravely kept his post."

The post was one of obvious danger, and

"Whether Fate or Art untwin'd his thread
Remains in doubt."[220:1]

The doubt has now been dissipated by the research of an accomplished
physician, Dr. Gee, who in 1874 communicated to the _Athenæum_ (March 7,
1874) an extract from Richard Morton's {Greek: Pyretologia} (1692),
containing a full account of Marvell's sickness and death. Art "untwin'd
his thread," but it was the doctor's art. Dr. Gee's translation of
Morton's medical Latin is as follows: -

"In this manner was that most famous man Andrew Marvell carried off
from amongst the living before his time, to the great loss of the
republic, and especially the republic of letters; through the
ignorance of an old conceited doctor, who was in the habit on all
occasions of raving excessively against Peruvian bark, as if it were
a common plague. Howbeit, without any clear indication, in the
interval after a third fit of regular tertian ague, and by way of
preparation (so that all things might seem to be done most
methodically), blood was copiously drawn from the patient, who was
advanced in years." [Here follow more details of treatment, which I
pass over.] "The way having been made ready after this fashion, at
the beginning of the next fit, a great febrifuge was given, a
draught, that is to say, of Venice treacle, etc. By the doctor's
orders, the patient was covered up close with blankets, say rather,
was buried under them; and composed himself to sleep and sweat, so
that he might escape the cold shivers which are wont to accompany the
onset of the ague-fit. He was seized with the deepest sleep and
colliquative sweats, and in the short space of twenty-four hours from
the time of the ague-fit, he died comatose. He died, who, had a
single ounce of Peruvian bark been properly given, might easily have
escaped, in twenty-four hours, from the jaws of the grave and the
disease: and so burning with anger, I informed the doctor, when he
told me this story without any sense of shame."

Marvell was buried on the 18th of August, "under the pews in the south
side of St. Giles's Church in the Fields, under the window wherein is
painted on glass a red lion." So writes the invaluable Aubrey, who tells
us he had the account from the sexton who made the grave.

In 1678 St. Giles's Church was a brick structure built by Laud. The
present imposing church was built on the site of the old one in 1730-34.

In 1774 Captain Thompson, so he tells us, "visited the grand mausoleum
under the church of St. Giles, to search for the coffin in which Mr.
Marvell was placed: in this vault were deposited upwards of a thousand
bodies, but I could find no plate of an earlier date than 1722; I do
therefore suppose the new church is built upon the former burial place."

The poet's grand-nephew, Mr. Robert Nettleton, in 1764 placed on the
north side of the present church, upon a black marble slab, a long
epitaph, still to be seen, recording the fact that "near to this place
lyeth the body of Andrew Marvell, Esquire." At no great distance from
this slab is the tombstone, recently brought in from the graveyard
outside, of _Georgius Chapman, Poeta_, a fine Roman monument, prepared
by the care and at the cost of the poet's friend, Inigo Jones. Still
left exposed, in what is now a doleful garden (not at all Marvellian),
is the tombstone of Richard Penderel of Boscobel, one of the five yeomen
brothers who helped Charles to escape after Worcester. Lord Herbert of
Cherbury, in 1648, and Shirley the dramatist, in 1666, had been carried
to the same place of sepulture.

Aubrey describes Marvell "as of middling stature, pretty strong-set,
roundish faced, cherry-cheeked, hazell eye, brown hair. He was, in his
conversation, very modest, and of very few words. Though he loved wine,
he would never drink hard in company, and was wont to say that he would
not play the good fellow in any man's company in whose hands he would
not trust his life. He kept bottles of wine at his lodgings, and many
times he would drink liberally by himself and to refresh his spirit and
exalt his muse. James Harrington (author of _Oceana_) was his intimate
friend; J. Pell, D.D., was one of his acquaintances. He had not a
general acquaintance."

Dr. Pell, one may remark, was a great friend of Hobbes.

In March 1679 joint administration was granted by the Prerogative Court
of Canterbury, _Mariæ Marvell relictæ et Johni Greni Creditori_. This is
the first time we hear of there being any wife in the case. A creditor
of a deceased person could not obtain administration without citing the
next of kin, but a widow was entitled, under a statute of Henry
VIII., as of right, to administration, and it may be that Mr.
Green thought the quickest way of being paid his debt was to invent a
widow. The practice of the court required an affidavit from the widow
deposing that she was the lawful relict of the deceased, but this
assertion on oath seems in ordinary cases to have been sufficient, if
the customary fees were forthcoming. Captain Thompson roundly asserts
that the alleged Mary Marvell was a cheat, and no more than the
lodging-house keeper where he had last lived - and Marvell was a
migratory man.[223:1] Mary Marvell's name appears once again, in the
forefront of the first edition of Marvell's _Poems_ (1681), where she


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